By VeloNews Interactive wire services, Copyright 2001 AFP
Spaniard Juan Miguel Mercado (iBanesto.com) won the Vuelta a Burgos in Spain, which concluded on Friday in Burgos with the 164km fifth stage, won by former world champion Oscar Freire (Mapei-Quick Step).
Mercado, just 23 years old, took over the violet leader’s jersey on the second day of the five-day race.
Friday’s final stage was animated by Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong, who made a break at the 17km mark and was joined by Czech rider Pavel Padrnos, Dane Bjarke Nielsen, Italian Elio Aggiano and Spaniard Miguel Angel Pena.
The five built up a lead of up to four minutes, but 20km from the line Nielsen and Aggiano were dropped.
The remaining trio was tracked down in the outskirts of Burgos. In the finale, Freire took the sprint finish, beating Italy’s Gianpaolo Mondini and fellow Spaniard David Fernandez to the line.
1. Oscar Freire (Sp), Mapei-Quick Step; 2. Gianpaolo Mondini (I), Mercatone Uno-Stream TV; 3. David Fernandez (Sp), Relax-Fuenlabrada; 4. Wilfried Cretskens (B), Domo-Farm Frites; 5. Jose Guiterrez (Sp), Kelme-Costa Blanca; 6. Massimo Apollonio (I), Tacconi-Vini Caldirola; 7. David Clinger (USA), Festina; 8. Inigo Landazule (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi; 9. Edouard Gritsoun (Rus), Coast; 10. Guennadi Michailov (Rus), Lotto-Adecco, all s.t.;
1. Juan-Miguel Mercado (Sp), iBanesto.com; 2. José-Luis Rubiera (Sp), U.S. Postal Service, at 0:17; 3. Eladio Jimenez (Sp), iBanesto.com, at 0:18; 4. Oscar Sevilla (Sp), Kelme-Costa Blanca, at 0:25; 5. Fernando Escartin (Sp), Coast, at 0:50; 6. Levi Leipheimer (USA), U.S. Postal Service, at 0:57; 7. Felix Cardenas (Col), Kelme-Costa Blanca, at 1:07; 8. Felix Garcia Casas (Sp), Festina, at 1:17; 9. Carlos Sastre (Sp), ONCE-Eroski, at 1:22; 10. Gerhard Trampusch (A), Telekom, at 1:29;
Others; 26. Justin Spinelli (USA), Saeco, at 2:59; 41. David Clinger (USA), Festina, at 4:53; 58. Lance Armstrong (USA), U.S. Postal Service, at 8:57; 80. George Hincapie (USA), at15:22; 104. David Zabriskie (USA), U.S. Postal Service, at 22:28.